Experiencing a car crash is always frightening. You may suffer from physical injuries like broken bones or a concussion, or develop mental health issues surrounding driving, like experiencing panic attacks when in a car or suffering from PTSD episodes after the accident.
If you were driving uninsured, the panic increases, since you may face fines and could be prevented from recovering all of your bodily injury and property damages. However, Louisiana law does allows uninsured drivers to file lawsuits when their damages exceed certain limits. At Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, we can help you determine whether you can still file a lawsuit after an accident if you were uninsured, even if the other driver was uninsured as well.
Louisiana’s “No Pay, No Play” Statute
Having car insurance is expensive, and many car owners choose to forgo paying monthly fees, gambling on their driving skills preventing an accident. However, you cannot control other drivers on the road or bad weather, meaning an accident could occur even if you aren’t at fault. Regardless of the accident circumstances, you can face fines between $500 and $1,000 for driving without insurance.
In Louisiana, the “No Pay, No Play” statute protects insurance companies from having to pay out full recovery to uninsured drivers. While there are exceptions, the law prevents uninsured drivers involved in an accident in Louisiana from recovering unless their bodily injury damages exceed $15,000 and/or their property damage exceeds $25,000.
However, if you were involved in an accident and didn’t have insurance at the time, you may still be able to sue if you meet one of several exceptions to the law.
1. You have minimum coverage.
Even if you only have the minimum liability coverage required by Louisiana law, you can still sue for damages. The “No Pay, No Play” law only affects drivers with absolutely no insurance.
2. Your car was parked legally.
Even if uninsured, you can sue for damages if a moving car hits your legally parked car.
3. Your state of residence doesn’t require liability insurance.
If you are involved in an accident in Louisiana as an out-of-state visitor, and your state doesn’t require liability insurance, the “No Pay, No Play” statute doesn’t apply.
4. The other driver committed a crime during the accident.
If the other driver was drunk or high, ran away from the scene, hit you while committing a felony, or hit you intentionally, you can still sue for damages even if you don’t have insurance.
5. You were a passenger.
Unless you co-own the uninsured vehicle, a passenger can sue for damages sustained in an accident, regardless of the insurance status of the vehicles involved.
Louisiana At-Fault Laws
Because Louisiana is an at-fault state, the person who caused the accident must pay damages to the injured party. Usually, the at-fault driver’s insurance company pays and then raises the driver’s premiums in response.
Typically when the driver was uninsured, you could file a claim with your own insurance company. But if neither driver was insured and one was clearly at fault, you can work with an experienced Louisiana auto accident lawyer to sue the at-fault driver directly.
Suing an Uninsured Driver
If you have extensive medical bills or property damage costs that exceed the “No Pay, No Play” law restrictions, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. For example, if your medical bills after the accident amounted to $50,000, you could likely sue for $35,000 in damages. It’s best to work with a car accident attorney who has a thorough understanding of Louisiana law since you won’t want to miss deadlines or file your claim incorrectly.
However, although you can sue an uninsured driver, it may be challenging to get the compensation you deserve. Often, drivers don’t have insurance because they cannot afford it, meaning even if you win your case, the other driver may not be able to pay the damages they owe you.
An experienced attorney can help you determine whether the other driver has enough assets to make suing them worthwhile or if you have other options to get compensation.
Get Compensation With Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers
If you want to know more about what happens in an accident when both drivers are uninsured, contact the experienced car accident lawyers at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers. With our No Fee Guarantee®, you won’t need to pay us until we win your case.
Call us today to arrange a free consultation and learn if you can get compensation for your injuries and property damage after an accident.
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